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I have a Digi-View, battery-powered electronic postal scale.

When I weigh my latest zine on it, 11 sheets, 8 1/2 x 11, standard photocopier paper, side-stapled with 3 staples, it hovers between 1.8 & 1.9 oz.

When I took several to the post office today, self-mailed, folded in half, taped around the edges, the clerk weighed it on her scales as only 1.1 oz. (At first, it only came up 1.0, but that one, and all the others came up as 1.1.)

It SEEMS, like in the recent past, my scale had been UNDER-weighing my letters/zines by an ounce or two, now it's apparently OVER-weighing them by .7 oz.

What do you get with 11 standard-weight sheets? It seems like that'd be more than an ounce or 1.1? But maybe I'm wrong.

I hate to go through the process of trying to "re-calibrate this" if I can avoid it, but maybe I'll have to.

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I think cheap digital scales just aren't good at weighing small amounts of things. Chemistry labs buy expensive super-accurate scales for that reason, and ounces aren't really any good for precise measurement anyway. Is it really important in the US mail system to have the exact weight?

(I live in the UK, and there's basically flat rates here for things under 100g, and everyone has kitchen scales anyway because recipes are done by weight in grammes rather than by measuring cups).

Weighing 3 of my zines that together come up to exactly 11 sheets of nicer quality paper + 3 staples (I really can't imagine there's any significant weight difference between a4 & letter) comes to 75g almost exactly. Google tells me that's 2.64 oz. Weighing 11 sheets of the cheap paper in my printer gave me 60g, 2.1 oz

Thanks, Emma.

Actually, your weighing seems to pretty much confirm that my "cheap" scale is correct, and the post office's much bigger and presumable more expensive scale must be wrong and under-weighing.  Which I guess I shouldn't be complaining about since it's been in my favor.

Tenths of ounces can bring a mailing up by 20 cents.  That's not too bad, but it can add up over time.  But tenths in overseas can add an extra 87 cents, and that can add up even more.  So tenths can be critical.


The US postal system seems complicated. Don't they charge you different prices for different shaped envelopes? 1/10th of an ounce seems a tiny amount to grade prices in. That's 2g. It's fairly simple here


Envelope under a certain size  and 100g- standard 1st or 2nd class stamp (stamp doesn't say the price so you can just buy them and keep them even if the price goes up, 2nd is slower and cheaper)

Envelope above that size/weight up to 750g/25mm thick- large letter stamp

Over 750g or 25mm thick- packet prices apply. Done in 250g bands. ie 10oz

Recorded delivery is 77p extra.

I've got a plastic postal ruler thing with the measurements marked and slots for checking the thickness

International packets:

Under 100g- Europe/Russia/Middle East £1.49 Rest of World £2.07

Then the price goes up in 20g bands up to 500g and then 100g thereafter. 20g= roughly an ounce

Sorry, I think I misread it, you mean 1/10 of an ounce could make your envelope go up into the next price band



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